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Scottsdale Truck Accident Attorney

Scottsdale Truck Accident Attorney

Trucks are crucial to the American economy. Unfortunately, because of their size, they can be deadly or inflict serious harm to other motorists. Large commercial trucks like tractor-trailers, big rigs, or eighteen-wheelers weigh up to 20 times as much as a passenger car. Moreover, trucks are considerably larger than a passenger car and may be carrying up to 80,000 pounds of payload. This means that even the sturdiest of cars or light trucks will be decimated if stricken by a semi-truck. Victims of truck accidents — those in or outside the truck — are likely to be killed or sustain brain damage, spinal injuries, amputations, and other very serious injuries.

The chances for trucking accident injuries are made even higher by the lax federal and state regulations governing trucking companies and manufacturers. The reluctance to impose and even enforce tough safety standards on trucking companies and manufacturers have created a climate where profit always wins over safety. Not surprisingly, some trucking companies, in an effort to maximize profits and appease shareholders, ignore safety regulations, skip scheduled maintenance, and understaff truck drivers.

The Importance of Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer

Accidents involving cars can range from minor fender benders to extremely severe crashes. Those involving semi-trucks, however, are rarely minor and most involve serious injury or even death. Even smaller or personal trucks can still inflict serious personal injury or harm to smaller, passenger cars on the road. In fact, pick-ups and other personal trucks are also more than twice as likely as passenger cars to have a fatal rollover accident. And even some pickups have seen a trend of recalls for auto design or manufacturing defects that can put their occupants at grave risk, such as defective tires, door latches that don’t work, and improperly secured and designed seat belts.

Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Shapiro Law Team, represents those injured by trucks including 18-wheeler trucks, tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, pick-up trucks, and other large motor vehicles. Along with the severe injuries that are commonplace, there are a number of other issues involved. Attorneys for the trucking company, their insurance company, and other concerned corporate entities will send their Accident Response Teams to the collision scene not long after the first responders to start defending the trucking line to prevent the injured party from recovering fair compensation. If you were injured in a trucking accident, you need to seek medical care immediately and contact us as soon as possible after the truck-related crash so we can quickly begin our investigation and build our case against the responsible entities.

We Conduct Our Own Investigation

At Shapiro Law Team, we handle the entire case from start to finish. You should hire a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible if you are injured in an 18-wheeler accident to give yourself the best chance of preserving critical evidence before it is destroyed. As soon as you call us, Scottsdale truck accident attorney David Shapiro will immediately call trucking accident experts and specialists such as an accident reconstructionist, biomechanical engineer, automotive/truck design expert, and others to inspect the scene, collect and document all of the roadway evidence. It goes without saying that in truck accidents, time is always of the essence.

We conduct our own investigation of the truck accident to build our case. Along with examining the circumstances of the crash and whether it was driver error or an equipment defect, we also consider the following:

  • Was the truck driver properly licensed and trained?
  • Was the truck driver observing safety protocols such as not exceeding the maximum hours they are allowed to be behind the wheel?
  • Was the truck driver speeding to meet delivery deadlines imposed by the company?
  • Was the truck properly maintained and were safety checks regularly conducted?
  • Was the truck driver under the influence of alcohol?
  • Was the truck driver under the influence of prescription drugs?
  • Were the truck’s tires unsafe or defective?
  • Did the truck have improper reflectors?
  • Was the truck’s load unsecured or improperly mounted?
  • Did the truck driver make an aggressive maneuver such as an unsafe lane change?

The answers we discover to these questions can shape your truck accident injury claim. If we find any evidence of negligence on the part of the trucking company, truck driver, or another party, we can use it to build a claim to damages against the defendant on your behalf. Our lawyers go above and beyond to investigate trucking accidents, collect evidence, and demonstrate each client’s damages during injury claims.

Building a Strong Case for You

We bring in trucking experts who will look at each and every possible cause of the crash. Our experts will go to the crash scene, collect, obtain and document valuable evidence, inspect the truck, look at the truck’s condition including its brakes and maintenance history. We also will look at the driver’s logbook to see if the trucking company was following the rules. Our experts will also evaluate the driver’s driving to determine how and why the crash occurred. We will gather all of the information possible about the eyewitnesses and their statements given at the time of the crash.

In short, Scottsdale personal injury attorney law firm Shapiro Law Team, will fight vigorously on your behalf to protect your rights against the large trucking company and its powerful insurance company. Our goal is to obtain the maximum compensation from all parties at fault to help compensate you for your life-changing injuries.

When involved in a serious truck accident, you may be hospitalized. If you suffered a serious brain, spinal, or an orthopedic injury such as a vertebral fracture or tibial plateau fracture, you may need multiple surgeries followed up by long-term medical care and acute rehabilitation. Even after being discharged from your hospital and your acute rehabilitation, you will likely need additional out-patient medical treatment such as follow-up appointments with your surgeon or doctor, out-patient therapy such as physical or occupational therapy, cognitive re-training with speech pathologists, and a host of other medical treatment. In addition, a truck accident victim also could become permanently disabled and may not be able to return to work.

These life-changing injuries or death can mean you may be able to seek a large amount of damages to pay for lost wages or ability to earn, medical expenses, and even property damage. If you were injured in a truck accident, you should consult with an attorney immediately.

When Is the Trucking Company Liable?

Liability can be tricky to determine in a truck accident case compared to a typical auto accident. Rather than your case only involving another driver, it may involve a trucking company, independent contractors, cargo companies, maintenance crews, and other parties. A trucking company could be liable for your accident in Scottsdale if it or one of its employees caused your crash. Although most truck drivers are technically independent contractors and not employees, trucking companies will still be vicariously liable for them under federal law. A trucking company could be liable in many different scenarios.

  • Broken Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rules
  • Broken general traffic laws
  • Poor fleet and vehicle maintenance
  • Unsafe cargo loading
  • Lack of proper securement of hazardous cargo
  • Dangerous hiring or training procedures
  • Hiring unlicensed or incompetent drivers
  • Pressuring drivers to meet deadlines
  • Broken hours of service regulations
  • Truck driver negligence or recklessness

A trucking company and its staff owe many responsibilities to the general public. Any breach of federal law or public safety protocol could cause a truck accident in Arizona. If the trucking company is directly or vicariously liable for your accident, use a lawyer from Shapiro Law Team to help you go up against the company’s insurance provider. Trucking companies have many resources to fight accident claims. Protect your right to compensation by using an attorney to negotiate your case for you.

What to Do After a Truck Accident

The aftermath of a commercial truck accident in Scottsdale can be confusing and overwhelming. It is important, however, to take the correct steps after a collision to build a claim to damages. Doing things the right way after a motor vehicle accident in Arizona can enable you to protect your rights, as well as improve your odds of obtaining maximum compensation.

  1. Call 911. Stay at the scene of the truck accident and call the police. You must call the cops in Arizona after a crash that causes injuries, deaths or more than $1,000 in damages.
  2. Check for injuries. If you, your passengers, or the truck driver have any injuries, request an ambulance to the scene. It is important to obtain immediate medical care.
  3. Take pictures. Use your cellphone, if possible, to take photos and videos while still at the crash scene. Collect information such as the driver’s name and insurance company, as well.
  4. Call an insurance company. Report the truck accident to the insurance company of the at-fault party right away. Do not continue with claim negotiations, however, until you contact an attorney.
  5. Act quickly. Important evidence, such as information from the truck’s black box, may not be available for long. Act quickly to hire an attorney and begin collecting evidence.

A successful insurance settlement or truck accident trial can depend on what you do in the days and weeks following your collision. If you are unsure of what steps to take toward obtaining compensation, call Shapiro Law Team anytime, day or night, to discuss your specific case. Our attorneys can walk you through what you need to do after a truck accident for the best odds of securing financial recovery.

How Can I Be Compensated After a Truck Accident?

There are various ways that you may be able to secure compensation in the aftermath of an accident involving a commercial truck. In many cases, where you turn for compensation will depend on the various facts and circumstances of your particular case. For example, if you were at-fault for the crash, chances are you will have to rely on your own health insurance to get compensation for your injuries.

However, if the careless or negligent actions of the truck driver or trucking company were responsible for the crash, you have other options. In general, most truck accident claims will be resolved through settlements with an insurance carrier. If the truck driver or company were responsible, you will file a claim against the truck company’s insurance carrier. Keep in mind that commercial trucking companies are required to carry higher insurance limits than those who operate traditional vehicles on Arizona’s roadway.

Unfortunately, you can be sure that the truck company’s insurance carrier will do everything in their power to pay as little as possible for your claim. Their insurance carrier is not on your side, so they will use various tactics to delay your claim, offer a low settlement, or even deny the claim altogether. If the insurance carrier denies the claim or makes an inadequate settlement offer, then it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver or trucking company in civil court.

What Types of Compensation are Available?

If you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident that was caused by the careless or negligent actions of a truck driver or trucking company, there may be various types of compensation available for your injuries and other losses. In general, an Arizona truck accident victim will be able to recover both economic and non-economic compensation if their insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit is successful.

  • Economic compensation. This type of compensation is also referred to as “special damages.” This refers to the types of compensation that are considered calculable after a truck crash. This can include an injury victim’s medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, property damage costs, and more.
  • Non-economic compensation. This type of compensation is also referred to as “general damages,” and this refers to what many people understand to be “pain and suffering” losses. These damages are harder to calculate, and they can include loss of enjoyment of life, emotional and psychological damage, loss of consortium damages, and more.
  • Punitive damages. These damages are not always awarded, and they are meant to act as a form of punishment against the negligent party in the case. These damages, when awarded, are also meant to send a signal to others that the type of actions displayed by the defendant are not acceptable in society.

Calculating the total amount of compensation available in these cases can be complicated. In general, it is not too difficult to calculate economic compensation. For these damages, an injury victim or their attorney will need to gather up all of the medical bills and receipts for the calculable expenses and add them together.

However, properly calculating the non-economic damages can be more challenging. There is no way to properly assign a dollar value to pain and suffering damages without using some sort of agreed-upon method. In many cases, an attorney will use a “multiplier method.” This means that they will take the total economic expenses and then multiply that by a set number, usually ranging from 1.5 to 5. This will be the total for non-economic compensation.

Let us suppose that a Scottsdale, Arizona truck accident victim sustains $300,000 in medical bills and lost wages as a result of their injuries. An attorney could take their economic damages and multiply that number by three to reach a non-economic damage total of $900,000. Added together, this reaches $1,200,000, which is what the truck accident victim and their attorney will ask for in total compensation. This will not include any possible punitive damages that may also be awarded in cases of gross negligence or intentional actions.

Are there Damage Caps in an Arizona Truck Accident Case?

Many states put various limitations in place for personal injury case settlements. However, Arizona’s Constitution specifically prohibits placing caps on personal injury claims. Article 2, Section 31 of the Constitution states that “No law shall be enacted in this state limiting the amount of damages to be recovered for causing the death or injury of any person.”

What is Comparative Negligence?

Many truck accident injury victims worry that they will not be able to recover compensation if they are partially to blame for the incident. That is not the case in this state. Arizona operates under a “pure comparative negligence” system, which means that a crash victim can receive compensation even if they are up to 99% at fault for a crash. However, there are limitations in these cases. The total amount of compensation a person receives will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.

Top Causes of Truck Accidents in Scottsdale

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), these vehicles can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. Due to the size and weight of these trucks, an impact involving a traditional passenger car can be devastating. There are various causes of truck accidents in Scottsdale, Arizona. Size and weight alone are not necessarily causes of these crashes. Rather, an investigation often discovers that the main causes of these crashes revolve around driver errors, truck company negligence, or truck failure.

  • Driver error. Truck drivers can make mistakes. They can also make critical errors of judgment. Some of the common causes of crashes involve truck driver error include the driver:
    • Operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs
    • Operating while distracted by a phone or another device
    • Disregarding FMCSA hours of service requirements
    • Purposely overloading the truck
    • Failing to follow traffic laws
    • Operating too fast for conditions
  • Truck company negligence. Trucking companies can also be negligent and cause accidents. These companies are required to:
    • Ensure that every vehicle is regularly inspected and maintained
    • Never allow a truck to be overloaded with cargo
    • Ensure drivers are properly trained
  • Truck failure. Truck failure can be the fault of the trucking company or the truck / parts manufacturer. If the truck company fails to inspect and maintain their vehicles, this will increase the risk of the truck failing on the roadway. Truck and part manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that they supply quality vehicles and parts that will not fail.

Most Common Truck Accident Injuries

Injuries caused by a large truck crash are often catastrophic. As we mentioned, the size and weight of a large tractor-trailer or other large truck can lead to devastation for those inside traditional passenger vehicles. At Shapiro Law Team, our team has experience helping Scottsdale truck accident victims who have sustained the following:

  • Spinal cord injuries (often with paralysis)
  • Other severe back or neck injuries
  • Devastating soft tissue injuries
  • Severe lacerations or puncture wounds
  • Amputations
  • Crush injuries
  • Broken or dislocated bones
  • Internal organ damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Significant scarring and disfigurement

Our Arizona truck accident lawyers also help clients who have sustained significant emotional and psychological trauma as a result of the accident and their injuries. These “unseen” injuries can have a long-lasting impact on a victim, sometimes well after the physical injuries have healed.

Lastly, our team is also here to help families who have lost a loved one due to a truck accident in Arizona. Our wrongful death attorneys are ready to offer your family our compassionate assistance as we work to hold the truck driver and trucking company responsible for their actions.

How Often Do Truck Accidents Occur?

Overall, large commercial trucks operate safely on the roadways of Arizona. However, that does not mean that these accidents are rare. When we turn to the Arizona Department of Transportation, we can see that there were many accidents involving large trucks during the latest reporting year. The DOT says that there were 1,912 total tractor-trailer accidents during the latest year. Out of these, there were 60 fatal crashes and 414 injury crashes. In addition to these crashes, the DOT also says that there were crashes involving concrete trucks, dump trucks, garbage trucks, tanker trucks, and other types of large trucks.

Contact Us If You Have Been in a Truck Accident: No-Fee Guarantee Unless We Win Your Case

You do not have to go up against a trucking corporation or its insurance provider alone after a collision in Arizona. Attorney David Shapiro and his team may be able to help you bring a claim against one or more responsible parties. We charge nothing unless we win your case. Call our office in Scottsdale at (480) 300-5405 or contact us using this website. We respond promptly to all inquiries.

Client Review: “I could not recommend a better personal injury attorney than David Shapiro and his team. They handled everything from start to finish, got me an amazing settlement that was over 5 times what the insurance company initially offered me.” -Kenneth

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